Best for Long-term Value

Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®
  • The card's loyalty bonus could net you up to $250 in extra rewards every year.
  • You'll get a fee credit for your application to Global Entry.
  • Earn a base rewards rate of 2 miles per dollar.
Card attributes
  • Variable APR
    17.49%, 21.49% or 24.49%
  • Cash Advance APR
    26.74%
  • Rewards Rate
    2 miles per dollar
  • Annual Fee
    $150
  • Intro APR
    n/a
  • Bonus Offers
    Each year, earn 25,000 loyalty bonus miles after spending $25,000 on purchases.
Highlights
  • Each year, earn 25,000 loyalty bonus miles after spending $25,000 on purchases.
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase.
  • Global Entry - Expedite your Re-entry with a $100 automatic statement credit for the cost of one Global Entry application fee every five years.
  • Mastercard® Airport Experience provided by LoungeKey enhances your travel experience with access to over 800 lounges worldwide (fees apply).
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad.
  • International Chip and PIN provides maximum global acceptance with chip and PIN capability for use at self-service chip terminals around the world.
  • Redeem your miles for travel or cash back statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise. Redeeming miles for travel statement credits offers the best value.
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active, and in good standing.

Our Detailed Review

  • $150 annual fee, which could be prohibitive for people who don't spend enough to get the maximum loyalty bonus.
  • Offers airline lounge access, but it's not free.
  • Also offers airline transfer partners, but the partners are all international and the transfer values aren't great.
Details

Application Process: Online, through Barclays. You'll get a response almost immediately. 

Annual Fee: $150

APR: 17.49%, 21.49%, or 24.49% variable.

Rewards: You'll earn unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase.

Bonus Offers: There's no sign-up bonus, but you can earn up to 25,000 in loyalty bonus miles each year. Spend $15,000 to get 15,000 bonus miles and another $10,000 to get a second bonus of 10,000 miles.

Faveable Review

The best travel credit cards tend to offer huge sign-up bonuses, but ongoing rewards aren’t always as exciting. The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®, which was launched in April 2018, is trying to buck that trend.

Rather than offering a sign-up bonus, the card offers annual bonuses once you hit certain spending thresholds. With that and other rewards and perks, the card may be worthwhile for occasional and frequent travelers alike.

Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® review - Card highlights

The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is unique in that it’s a premier travel credit card with no sign-up bonus.

Instead, it offers up to 25,000 loyalty bonus miles each year if you spend up to $25,000 annually. Arrival miles are worth 1 cent per point if you use them to get a statement credit against travel purchases, so your loyalty bonus could be worth up to $250.

The card also offers 2 miles per dollar spent, a statement credit for a Global Entry application, and the opportunity to transfer your miles to different travel programs.

Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® rewards and perks

With the card’s base rewards rate and the loyalty bonus, you’ll effectively earn 3 miles per dollar spent on your first $25,000 spent every year. That’s better than you’ll get with any other card on the market.

Here’s how the loyalty bonus breaks down:

  • 15,000 bonus miles after you spend $15,000 on the card
  • 10,000 bonus miles after you spend another $10,000

Once you reach the $25,000  threshold, your effective rewards rate will revert to the base 2 points per dollar.

For some, this bonus won’t be nearly as exciting as getting a huge sign-up bonus. The card’s predecessor, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® Elite World Mastercard®, offered a sign-up bonus worth $500 in free travel. With this new loyalty bonus, you have to wait longer to get that much value.

That said, for people who want long-term value out of a travel credit card, this one is worth considering.

Once you earn your miles, you can redeem them in one of two ways. The first is through statement credits against travel purchases. Simply use your card to book travel, and you can use your miles to get a statement credit for the purchase.

The second is by transferring your miles to other travel loyalty programs, including:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • China Eastern
  • Etihad
  • EVA Air
  • Japan Airlines
  • Jet Airways
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas

The biggest drawback to this option is that all the partners are international airlines. What’s more, you’ll only be able to transfer your points at a ratio of 1.4:1 (1.7:1 for Japan Airlines), so you may lose value by transferring.

You can also earn extra miles by sharing your travel experiences in the online Barclays Travel Community.

Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® benefits

In addition to the card’s valuable rewards program, it also offers a bunch of extra perks. Here’s a quick summary of each:

Global Entry fee credit: Global Entry allows you to get expedited screening at U.S. customs stations when returning to the U.S. from abroad. It typically costs $100 to apply, and this card offers a fee credit for your application once every five years, which is how long your membership in the program lasts.

Airport lounge access: You can get access to more than 850 airport lounges through the Mastercard Airport Experiences program. The only catch is that you’ll have to pay a fee to enter, and they don’t provide any information about how much.

Free access to your FICO credit score: Checking your credit score is an important part of establishing an excellent credit history. With this card, you’ll have access to it at all times.

Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® costs and fees

Getting up to $250 in loyalty bonuses sounds nice, but it comes at a price. The card charges a $150 annual fee, and it doesn’t waive it the first year. Of course, you can still earn enough from the loyalty bonus to cover the fee, but it’s not as exciting.

The card charges no foreign transaction fees, which makes it a good option for international travel. The typical foreign transaction fee is 3%, so you’ll save quite a bit.

Depending on your creditworthiness, you could end up with a variable APR of 17.49%, 21.49%, or 24.49%. The Federal Reserve pegs the average credit card interest rate at 14.99%, so you’d be wise to avoid carrying a balance on this card, even if you get the best interest rate available.

Cash advances carry a variable APR of 26.74%. Plus, you’ll pay a cash advance fee of 5% or $10, whichever is greater. Cash advances typically don’t come with a grace period like normal credit card purchases, so we recommend avoiding them at all costs.

Does the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® make sense for me?

The Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® is fascinating because it prioritizes long-term use over the instant gratification of a sign-up bonus. For people who like getting that upfront value, the card might not be worth it.

But if you spend enough to get the maximum loyalty bonus, want flexible rewards, and plan to hold onto your next card for a long time, it might be worth applying.

Before you do, however, make sure to compare it with other top travel credit cards. As you do so, you’ll get a better idea of which card can give you the best bang for your buck, both immediately and over the long run.

 

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